Ten minutes from Everhope lies Kirkwood, our sister plantation. It is arguably one of the most photographed homes in America. In a recent year, Google notified the owners that "Kirkwood" was searched over 1 million times in one year.
In 1860, the splendid home of Foster Mark Kirksey was nearing completion, but some final materials were undelivered, as the Civil War intervened. Steamboats no longer left Eutaw loaded with cotton for Mobile, nor did they return with the goods and treasures that had brought elegance to plantation life. The extraordinary four story mansion, graced with eight massive ionic columns, Carrerra marble mantels, Waterford crystal chandeliers, and original furnishings, would languish for over 100 years until purchased by Roy and Mary Swayze. They meticulously restored the house, rebuilt the cupola, completed the intricate ceiling moulding, placed a period railing around the second floor balcony, and reclaimed the grounds, which are now eight acres of gardens and a pecan grove. In 1982, the prestigious National Trust for Historic Preservation “Honor Award” was presented to the Swayzes for the restoration of Kirkwood. The Swayzes have since passed on, but their influence remains strong in the community.
Kirkwood is currently owned by dear friends and fellow Atlantans, the Sears family. Out of state investment has been a stalwart in preserving the historic architecture in Eutaw. We are grateful to the Sears family for their contributions to our community, including opening Kirkwood's doors each year for the annual Greene County Historic Society Tour of Homes.
Formerly a bed and breakfast, the home is now only open for private tours with advance notice because it is furnished entirely to period, making it one of the most exquisite antique collections in Alabama. Tours are $20 per person and can be arranged through Everhope.